PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

REITs seen to drive development outside Manila

February 20, 2020 | 12:30 am [ ]

THE TAKEOFF of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the Philippines this year, starting with Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), is seen to drive developments in cities outside Metro Manila and spark growth in new segments for real estate firms.

In its report “First Mover Advantage” published yesterday, real estate consultancy firm Colliers International Philippines said it expects more REITs to be launched soon following the regulatory adjustments made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Colliers believes that REIT implementation in the Philippines will likely result in the further differentiation and innovation of domestic property development projects which should eventually benefit Filipino investors and end-users,” it said.

It said the revised REIT rules lowering the minimum public float to 33% and the paid-up capital requirement to P300 million makes the investment tool an attractive option for developers to raise fresh capital.

“Colliers recommends that developers use REITs to access a cheaper source of capital and renovate and reposition assets such as offices, malls, and warehouses,” it said.

Colliers noted the new guidelines, which the SEC published last month, came at the perfect time as the country’s property market is on an upswing. For instance, the office market is growing about 1 million square meters every year, and take-up is likewise reaching above 900,000 square meters every year, it added.

Colliers said that as Metro Manila continues to grow while developable land remains limited, it is expected that property developers may soon move to provincial cities to utilize REITs. Among the areas it mentioned are Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod and Pampanga.

“Given the dearth of developable land and surging land values in Metro Manila, firms may also use REIT proceeds to develop integrated communities in key cities outside the country’s capital… We also encourage provincial players that meet the capitalization requirement to tap REIT,” it said.

Aside from typical real estate assets namely office, retail, warehouses and hotels, the consultancy firm said there is an opportunity for other segments to take advantage of REITs.
“With the government being more active in attracting private sector investment, property firms should also explore possible public-private partnership (PPP) projects that cover hospitals, schools, and toll roads as these assets meet the requirement to generate recurring income,” it said.

“The Philippine REIT landscape can now truly develop, which should entice homegrown developers such as those in Cebu and Davao to participate in this new capital fund-raising option,” it added.

ALI led the country’s first REIT application with an offer to sell up to 478,639,700 shares in its subsidiary AREIT, Inc. This covers divesting in three commercial buildings in Makati City, namely Solaris One, Ayala North Exchange and McKinley Exchange. — Denise A. Valdez

Ortigas Land allots P15-billion capex for three residential projects this year

February 19, 2020 | 12:15 am  [ ]

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
ORTIGAS Land (formerly Ortigas & Co.) is setting capital expenditures for 2020 at P15 billion, as it scheduled to launch three new residential projects by year’s end.

In a briefing in Pasig City yesterday, Ortigas Land President and Chief Executive Officer said the company is mapping out an aggressive expansion plan in the coming years, which would drive up its net income by double digits in the near term.

“We expect to grow double-digit in the next five to six years in terms of net income. Maraming opportunities (There are plenty of opportunities),” he told reporters.

He added that the capital expenditure this year is close to P15 billion, and the plan is to allocate P15-20 billion for annual spending in the medium term.

“Hopefully we can sustain two to three projects, hopefully more, (every year),” Mr. Ysmael said.

Ortigas Land launched yesterday a 51-storey residential project along ADB Ave. at the Ortigas central business district called Residences at The Galleon, which is expected to rake in P16 billion in total sales.

The project involves 43 residential floors, one amenity floor, five floors of podium parking and two floors of podium retail — overall seen to help increase the residential capital value in Ortigas in the future.

A one-bedroom and two-bedroom unit at the tower would cost P24-46 million, while a penthouse unit would cost P102-162 million, making the building the highest priced product in Ortigas Center. “It sets a new pricing standard for a product of this kind in the Ortigas business district,” Mr. Ysmael said.

The other projects that Ortigas Land will be launching this year are a second Maven tower at Capitol Commons, which will be launched within the second quarter, and another residential project in Circulo Verde, scheduled for the third quarter.

“This year is the most prolific year so far in our history as we are set to launch three projects.. The launch of our newest residential tower empowers us to set sail for new horizons as Ortigas Land, and anchor our position as a premier property developer…,” Mr. Ysmael said.

Also within the year, Ortigas Land will be demolishing its headquarters along Ortigas Avenue to move near Estancia Offices in Capitol Commons. The one-hectare site of the current headquarters will then be redeveloped into a property with office, hotel and retail segments.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ysmael said the company was looking at the possibility of launching a real estate investment trust (REIT) or conducting an initial public offering (IPO) to fund its expansion plans.

“REIT and IPO are two tools that are available to us to help us fund the aggressive expansion that we are undertaking right now. I cannot give you any timing, but we are studying the possibilities,” he said, noting Ortigas Land had started discussions with its shareholders regarding the plan.

Ortigas Land booked a net income of P2.3 billion in 2019, surging from P100 million when it started in 2014, Mr. Ysmael said.

Townhouse, duplex villas offered in Southwoods City

February 18, 2020 | 12:06 am [ ]

Residents of Upland Villas can enjoy the flower and herb garden in Pahara residential village, Southwoods City. -- COMPANY HANDOUT

GLOBAL-ESTATE Resorts, Inc.’s new residential project features two-storey townhouses and duplex villas within the Pahara residential village in Southwoods City.

In a statement, the subsidiary of Megworld Corp. said Upland Villas will have 65 units, composed of townhouses and duplex villas in modern and tropical architecture.

Units will have living and dining areas, kitchen, maid’s room, common bathroom, and a lanai on the ground floor, and bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor. Each unit gets a two-slot carport.

“Set within the exclusive enclave on the hills of Southwoods City, Upland Villas is a unique residential offering where one can relax and enjoy the beauty of its natural surroundings. More importantly, since we have easily sold out the lots of Pahara, this is an opportunity to own a property within this sought-after village inside Southwoods City,” Rachelle Peñaflorida, vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Global-Estate, Inc., said.

Upland Villas unit owners have access to the Pahara Clubhouse and amenities, such as a swimming pool, fitness center, jogging paths, children’s playground, multi-purpose function area, yoga and reflexology garden, meditation and aromatic gardens as well as landscaped open spaces.

Residents can also enjoy the surrounding flower and herb gardens.

Upland Villas is expected to be completed in 2024.

The 561-hectare Southwoods City is located at the boundaries of Biñan, Laguna, and Carmona, Cavite.

Occupancy rates in Manila premium offices among the world’s lowest, says JLL report

February 18, 2020 | 12:04 am [ ]

OCCUPANCY rates in Manila for premium office locations are among the lowest across the globe, a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) found.
In its Premium Office Rent Tracker report published last month, the real estate consultancy firm ranked Manila the 66th in its review of 86 markets for the cost of rent for premium office spaces.

It said total occupancy cost in Manila is at $54 (about P2,731) per square foot (sq. f.) per year, making it the third most affordable among the Southeast Asian cities covered by the report.

The others are Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur at $30 per sq. f. per year; Thailand’s Bangkok at $46 per sq. f. per year; Indonesia’s Jakarta at $60 per sq. f. per year; Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City at $78 per sq. f. per year; and Singapore at $117 per sq. f. per year.

“Manila continues to enjoy stable demand and growth in the office sector and we think this positive trend will continue to flourish in the coming years as we see more investment in infrastructure and quality office space,” JLL Philippines’ Head of Commercial Leasing Lizanne H. Tan said in a statement.

The report said affordability is still a consideration for companies in office hunting, and it encourages corporate occupiers to look for alternatives.

“Affordability continues to be a concern, particularly in the top-tier cities like Hong Kong, New York and London…. More affordable cities are also attracting greater corporate interest, such as Helsinki, Montreal, Denver and Manila,” it said.

Hong Kong, New York and London are all in the top five markets with the highest premium office rent across the globe, where Hong Kong leads the entire list with an annual occupancy cost of $313 per sq. f.

In the Philippines, office demand come from the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector and corporate occupiers, particularly in the prime locations of Makati City and Taguig City.

These two cities, JLL Philippines said, are the top locations in terms of average annual rent at $431 (about P21,800) per square meter and $463 (about P23,418) per square meter, respectively.

“The presence of quality grade stock, strategic location, infrastructure accessibility, and talent agglomeration serve as key advantages of these districts,” it said.

Across the globe, technology firms are seen to drive up demand for premium office spaces, joined by companies in the banking and financial services sector.

“While optimal experience is by necessity specific to organizations and locations, experience levers include access to spaces for employees across a range of activities, which will be essential ingredients of premium office space going forward,” the report said.

“Sustainability and corporate responsibility are rising on corporate and personal agendas, so green features and services — from access to greenery to minimizing resource utilisation — are increasingly important,” it added. — Denise A. Valdez

Araneta to expand Gateway mall

February 18, 2020 | 12:07 am [ ]

By Mark Louis F. Ferrolino
Special Feature Writer
Araneta to expand Gateway mall

The New Gateway mall will have eight floors with over 400 shops, 100 food establishments and 18 cinemas. -- COMPANY HANDOUT

ARANETA CITY (ACI, Inc.) topped off the expansion of its Gateway Mall in Quezon City, which is expected to be operational by the last quarter of the year.

“It is the much-awaited expansion of the multi-awarded Gateway Mall opened in 2004. This is Araneta City’s greatest offering in providing an urban lifestyle destination,” ACI Management Consultant Rowell L. Recinto said during the topping-off ceremony on Feb. 11.
The expansion, called New Gateway, will feature shopping, dining, entertainment, and amenities areas, carefully designed to offer a modern and contemporary experience, Mr. Recinto said.

The 190,000-square-meter (sq.m.) mall will have eight floors that will house over 400 shops, more than 100 food establishments, 18 cinemas and a 3,700-sq.m. supermarket.

“Our shopping fare starts with the essentials and range up to high fashion with casual and activewear in between to suit the different market segments. Dining options will cater to families and friends looking for quick bites, family fare, traditional comfort food, concept restaurants, regional cuisine, and bars and lounges,” Mr. Recinto said.

Located on top of the building is a 500-seat, air-conditioned chapel that will be open to the public. A 700-square meter atrium will be also available for events.

To give guests more leisure activities, the New Gateway will also have a museum, the Gateway Gallery; an open-air Topiary Park; an air-conditioned Oasis floating park; and gardens.

“The New Gateway will offer breadth and depth of choices for fashion, dining, entertainment, night life, leisure and wellness, and gadgets and gaming,” Mr. Recinto said. “It is a mall for people on the rise; essentially, for people on the go; and, basically, just for people.”

Skybridges and footpaths will connect the New Gateway to the other areas of the “super block” Gateway Square, which includes Smart Araneta Coliseum, Novotel Manila, Gateway Tower, Parking Garage South Building, and the soon-to-open Ibis Styles Hotel.

Mr. Recinto said that mall visitors will not find parking to be a problem since a total of 3,000 parking slots will be available at the Gateway Square.

The New Gateway, according to Mr. Recinto, brings a lot of elements to the ongoing development in the Araneta City. More projects are already in the pipeline as redevelopment in the city continues, he added.

The Araneta City is conveniently accessible from Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (EDSA), Aurora Blvd. and P. Tuazon Blvd. in Quezon City, and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and Light Rail Transit Line 2. It also serves as a hub for different transport systems such as jeepney, utility vehicles (UV) express, provincial buses, and airport shuttle services.

SEC issues draft rules for firms converting to one shareholder

February 18, 2020 | 12:08 am [ ]

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a draft memorandum circular on the guidelines for converting corporations to a one person corporation (OPC) or to an ordinary stock corporation.

The country’s corporate regulator uploaded on its website Monday its draft rules for the conversion process, which will be up for comment before its final approval.

“SEC will wait for the comments, then review the comments, finalize the guidelines, approve the guidelines,” SEC Commission Secretary Armando A. Pan, Jr. said in a text message yesterday.

This follows the introduction of single-stockholder corporations through Republic Act No. 11232 or the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines, which took effect in February 2019.

The circular breaks down the rules in three parts: those that apply to ordinary stock corporations converting into OPCs, those that apply to OPCs converting into ordinary stock corporations, and those that apply to both.

For ordinary stock corporations converting into OPCs, the rules require that such companies submit to the SEC an affidavit of conversion discussing the sale of shares to a single stockholder, and an amended articles of incorporation, among others, to kickstart the application process for conversion.

Once the new articles of incorporation is approved through the issuance of a certificate by the SEC, the old articles of incorporation and bylaws of the company will be superseded. It may retain the same SEC company registration number, but will have an “OPC” prefix.

The single stockholder of the OPC will then be legally responsible for all outstanding liabilities of the ordinary stock corporation he/she acquired.

For OPCs converting into an ordinary stock corporation, among the documentary requirements are the notice of conversion detailing the transfer of shares to new stockholders, amended articles of incorporation and bylaws, and endorsement clearances from the SEC and other relevant government agencies.

The SEC requires that in such cases, the application for conversion must be filed within 60 days from the “occurrence of the circumstances leading to the conversion,” which it classified as the date when the shares are “actually transferred in the name of the transferees.”

Upon the SEC’s issuance of certificate of filing of amended articles of incorporation and bylaws, the OPC’s old articles of incorporation will be deemed superseded. The company will retain its SEC registration number, but will have a “CS” prefix.

Like in ordinary stock corporations converting into OPCs, OPCs that will convert into ordinary stock corporations will take all outstanding liabilities of the company it acquired.

The SEC previously said the introduction of OPCs will spur the growth of more businesses in the country as it makes the process simple for entrepreneurs to open a limited liability company.

QC property listings rise amid demand — Lamudi

February 14, 2020 | 12:04 am [ ]

LISTINGS for Quezon City properties have been increasing in response to high demand, online market seller Lamudi said in a report that also tagged the city as continuing to be the top-searched area in Metro Manila.

“The city remains to be the top choice due to its prime location for commercial and residential properties, affordability, and livability. In 2019, Quezon City opened up new office spaces and will most likely open more this year and the next years,” said Lamudi in its Real Estate Market Review for January 2020.

The January data showed that the city had the most number of listings, which the report said is a response to growing search numbers.

Outside Luzon, Cebu is the top-searched city in the Visayas because of its growing outsourcing industry.

Overall, searches of properties for sale (62%) continue to be higher than searches of properties for rent (38%). In terms of listings, 82% are for sale while 15% are for rent.
Property seekers have shown more interest in buying houses (51% of searches), compared to land (23%) and condominiums (18%).

“Property seekers show a strong interest in owning houses more than vacant lots and condominiums. This could be due to the presence of affordable housing segments scattered all over Metro Manila and in key provincial cities,” the report said.

But interest in apartments is higher among those seeking to rent (38%), followed by condominiums (33%) and houses (20%).

The report attributes this to students and professionals in search of cheaper accommodations close to their schools and workplaces.

Interest in house rentals come from families looking to upgrade to larger spaces at lower costs.

When it comes to buying property, 17% of seekers spend P1.5 million to P3 million, while 15% prefer the more affordable P450,000 to P1.5 million.

A substantial number of renters choose to spend around P15,000 to P30,000 (34%), followed by the 28% who choose to spend P5,000 to P15,000.

The report added the Dubai hosts the largest number of property seekers from outside the country, which could be due to the number of overseas workers looking to invest in a home in the Philippines. — Jenina P. Ibañez

RLC opens Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu

February 11, 2020 | 12:02 am []

ROBINSONS Land Corporation (RLC) recently held the grand opening of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu located in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City.

The first five-star beachfront resort has 272 rooms, including Deluxe Room, Deluxe Sea View, Dusit Club Room, Governor’s Suite, Captain’s Suite, Executive Suite, Admiral Suite, and JG Suite.

The Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu also has six event venues, which make it ideal for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and other special occasions.

It has dining outlets such as The View, Sunset Sports Bar, Tradewinds Café, The Deli, and the hotel chain’s signature restaurant Benjarong.

The resort also has an indoor playground for kids like Fun Zone, D-Fit Fitness Center gym, and the Namm Spa.

RLC starts work on office building in Bridgetowne

February 11, 2020 | 12:04 am

Robinsons Land Corp. recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Campus One office building in Bridgetowne East, Pasig City. -- COMPANY HANDOUT

ROBINSONS Land Corporation (RLC) recently broke ground for a new office building in its Bridgetowne estate.

The Campus One office building, which is located in the Pasig City side of the estate called Bridgetowne East, will be leased by FinAsia Land Development and Construction Corporation (FinAsia).

FinAsia will occupy the three-story building with a total leasable space of 19,578 square meters (sq.m.). It is expected to be completed within the third quarter of 2020.

“We are delighted to contribute to the continued growth of Pasig City as a commercial district by building Campus One in Bridgetowne East. This will be the first of many exciting developments you can expect from our premier destination estate,” Jericho P. Go, general manager for office buildings division of RLC, said in a statement.

Campus One is the first campus-style low-rise building in the area. It offers spacious office floor areas of more than 6,840 sq.m. on the second and third floors, and 4,890 sq.m. on the ground floor. Retail spaces are available on the ground floor.

FinAsia is as seat leasing, office space fit-out, and facilities management company with an existing footprint of more than 31,000 sq.m. of office space around Metro Manila.

Bridgetowne is the RLC’s first township project, which covers a total of 30.61 hectares. The company will develop the property within the next 10 to 15 years.

Fresh investments in property sector expected

February 11, 2020 | 12:06 am

By Denise A. Valdez

LOCAL real estate developers are seen to forge deals with foreign players in the upcoming 71st World Real Estate Congress by the Federacion Internationale des Adminstrateurs de Biens Conceils et Immobiliers (FIABCI).

Happening for the first time in the Philippines, the event will gather real estate experts in a five-day series of lectures and networking opportunities which the organizers expect will result in fresh investments in the country.

“It is very significant for the Philippines (to host the event) because we want to showcase the real estate industry in the Philippines, which has been (growing) for the last 20 years — probably the longest surge in real estate in the world,” FIABCI-Philippines President Nestor S. Mangio said in a media launch Tuesday.

“Normally, real estate is a roller coaster. It goes (up and down every) seven years. But here, we’ve experienced an upswing for the last 20 years. So we’ve invited these property developers, hopefully to also invest in our country and also to have more tourists come to our country and see our beautiful local destinations,” he added.

FIABCI is a Paris-based organization of real estate professionals with presence in 72 countries from five continents. It holds an annual congress in different countries each year to discuss the latest trends in the real estate industry.

For this year, the congress will focus on “urban revolution” to tackle the latest challenges for property developers such as air pollution, natural calamities, urban migration and infrastructure availability.

“Cities and urban centers should be responsive to the needs of the changing times… They should be smart, which means adoption of new and future technologies which can make our cities and urban centers safer, cleaner, healthier and easier to maintain,” Mr. Mangio said.

As the event aims to gather property developers and real estate practitioners from across the globe, FIABCI expects business agreements to be born out of the conference.

“There are many inquiries abroad to partner with us because they hear that the Philippines is a good investment, especially in matters of real estate. In fact, the Ciputra Group of Indonesia, we’ll be introducing to Manny Villar so they can talk about partnership in townships, etc.,” FIABCI-Philippines Chairman Emeritus and Founding President Florentino S. Dulalia, Jr. said in the media launch.

Mr. Dulalia is the incoming president of FIABCI World, the first time a Filipino will hold the top position in the organization.

Mr. Mangio also said there is an offer from Barcelona to develop a bullfight arena in Spain into a commercial space. FIABCI-Philippines will be matching foreign hunters like this to local property developers during the conference.

“I hope there will be businesses out of this congress,” Mr. Dulalia said.

Among the exhibitors at the event are Megaworld Corp.; Federal Land, Inc.; Robinsons Land Corp.; and Prime Homes Real Estate Development, Inc. It will be on May 26–30 this year at the Marriott Convention Center in Pasay City.

Real estate experts hold urban revolution in Manila

Real estate experts hold urban revolution in Manila
February 4, 2020 | 12:01 am [ ]

National Association of Realtors president Vince Malta will be one of the speakers at the 71st World Congress of the Federacion Internationale des Adminstrateurs de Biens Conceils et Immobiliers (FIABCI) to be held in Manila on May 26-30, 2020. -- COMPANY 


EXPERTS in construction and real estate industries are gathering in Manila this May for the 71st World Congress of the Federacion Internationale des Adminstrateurs de Biens Conceils et Immobiliers (FIABCI).

“An ‘urban revolution’ has started to take shape, globally redefining real estate in the context of today’s challenges while highlighting it as a sunrise industry with progressive demand-driven and consumer-focused property developments,” Reghis M. Romero II, chairman of the Philippine chapter of the FIABCI and the 2020 FIABCI World Real Estate Congress, said in a statement.

The FIABCI event will tackle how the real estate sector can address the challenges of climate change, global warming, rising sea levels, natural calamities, and environmental pollution.

“And as the theme of the Congress, ‘Urban Revolution’ will be aptly mounted in the Philippines to gather momentum in this part of the world where it is needed most,” said Nestor Mangio, architect and president of FIABCI-Philippines. The Philippines is prone to typhoons, rising sea levels, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, among other natural calamities.

“Add to that the ever-increasing volume of vehicular traffic, air pollution, household and industrial wastes, urban sprawl and migration, costs of fuel and electricity, and all the support infrastructure necessities, and you end up with a perfect recipe for a social catastrophe,” Mr. Mangio said.

“Nonetheless, the industry has been coming up with various urban planning and technological solutions that can create ‘ergonomic’ cities, optimize land resource development and utilization, enhance the integrity, flexibility and energy efficiencies of physical structures, and thus improve the lives of residents,” Mr. Romero added.

The 2020 FIABCI World Congress will be held at the Marriott Convention Center on May 26–30, 2020.

Speakers include US-based National Association of Realtors president Vince Malta, Megaworld Corp. President Kevin Tan, outgoing FIABCI World president Walid Moussa, global design director Anthony Cuthbertson of Topshop London, sustainable design development advocate Daniel Watch and a representative from Foster and Partner UK.

ALI applies for PHL’s 1st REIT

February 7, 2020 | 7:42 pm [ ]

AYALA Land, Inc. (ALI) has submitted an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the country’s maiden real estate investment trust (REIT) offer.

ALI, through its subsidiary AREIT Inc., submitted on Friday its REIT Plan stating it wants to offer the public up to 478,639,700 shares at P30.05 each. This will raise up to P1.356 billion in net proceeds for the company.

The offer is composed of 47,864,000 new common shares and 430,775,700 existing common shares, with an over-allotment option of up to 23,932,000 shares.

“Through this initial capital market transaction, ALI hopes to pave the way for the development of a REIT market in the country, bringing another milestone to the Philippine stock market,” the company said in a statement.

It added it wants to do an initial public offering of AREIT once it secures regulatory approvals from the SEC and the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.

A copy of AREIT’s prospectus said its REIT plan covers three commercial buildings: the 24-storey Solaris One, the mixed-use development Ayala North Exchange, and the five-storey McKinley Exchange, all located in Makati City.

“The company seeded AREIT, Inc. with Grade A office assets located in Makati CBD (central business district) and is expected to expand its portfolio with new acquisitions in the future,” ALI said in its statement.

Proceeds from the offer will be disbursed by the end of 2020, as required by the REIT guidelines, and divided into P1.22 billion for future investments in real estate (90% of total) and P136 million for general corporate purposes (10%).

Specifically, ALI wants to acquire Teleperformance Cebu from its subsidiary ALO Prime Realty Corp., along with other real estate properties in Metro Manila and key regions.

The filing of AREIT’s prospectus to the SEC marks the first successful attempt by the regulator in more than 10 years to attract local property developers into REITs. This came after the government relaxed its regulations on the REIT law last month, specifically by reducing the minimum public float requirement to 33% and removing the 12% value-added tax on transferring properties to a REIT vehicle.

DoubleDragon Properties Corp. previously disclosed plans to raise about P11 billion annually in the next six years through the REIT listing of one-fourth of its completed leasable gross floor area.

Other firms that have expressed interest in REITs are Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land Corp., SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and Century Properties Group, Inc. — Denise A. Valdez

More Lamudi users looking to purchase property

February 4, 2020 | 12:04 am [ ]


THE property market last year was dominated by those looking to buy more than those looking to rent, online property marketplace Lamudi said.

In its Real Estate Market Review for 2019, Lamudi said 60.59% of those that went on its platform last year sought to buy property and had a budget of up to P20 million. Renters comprised the remaining 39.41% of the market, and allocated up to P1 million in their property hunt.

By budget, Lamudi said majority of the seekers in the more affordable segment allocated between P5,000 and P15,000 in their searches last year.

It also said most of the seekers, or 39.24% of the inquiries on Lamudi’s platform, were interested in condominiums, as this type of property may be used as primary residence or as a rental investment.

“With the increasing demand for condominium units in metropolitan areas, it is advisable to buy during the pre-selling period as the property value of condominiums increases near the development’s completion,” Lamudi said.

In terms of property location, the most in-demand cities are still in Metro Manila, but the interest among seekers is starting to spread across the country.

The cities with the highest demand last year are Quezon City, Makati City, Manila City, Cebu City and Taguig City. Lamudi noted that residents from Cebu City made up 87.56% of the page views from Visayas.

Citing Colliers International Philippines, Lamudi said the growth of business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Cebu is a major driver of property growth in the region.

“The high influx of tourists coming to Cebu City has also propelled a higher demand for condominiums in the area. With the growth of BPO hubs in the city, millennials, who make up 43.98% of Visayas’ page views, are also drawn to the region for work opportunities and potential property ownership,” it added.

Other provincial cities that topped demand last year were Bacoor, Davao City, Angeles and Antipolo.

Lamudi also traced property hunters located outside the Philippines, and noted a bulk come from Dubai, Doha and Sydney. It said 30.58% of them looked for houses, of which 38.66% wanted to buy and 16.73% wanted to rent.

“One explanation for the sustained growth from Dubai, which was also the top overseas city in 2018, can be attributed to OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) wanting to buy their own property to settle in once they get back to the Philippines. Filipinos are also searching for houses or condominiums as an investment opportunity in the Philippines,” it said.

On the supply side, Lamudi said Quezon City had the most number of listings in 2019, but Parañaque City recorded the biggest jump year-on-year with a 292% growth in listings from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

Provincial cities likewise contributed to the increase in listings last year, as new developments have been recorded in areas such as Angeles City, Pampanga and Naic, Cavite.

Lamudi added the most popular type of listing last year was house-and-lot. — Denise A. Valdez

Cebu Landmasters posts 31% reservation sales rise

February 4, 2020 | 12:06 am [ ]

CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) reported its reservation sales in 2019 jumped 31% to P12.67 billion, driven by higher demand in its key projects across the country.

In a statement yesterday, the listed property developer said the turnout did not only surpass its P9.6-billion reservation sales in 2018, it also exceeded its target of reaching P12.5 billion in 2019.

“Reservation sales is an indication of future revenue and with the robust sales performance of our projects, we are again anticipating outstanding financial results from CLI,” Jose R. Soberano III, chairman and chief executive officer of CLI, said in the statement.

The high demand last year was traced mostly to CLI’s projects in Cebu City, which contributed 58% of total booked sales. Projects in Davao City comprised 15%; in Cagayan de Oro, 13%; in Bacolod, 12%; and in Dumaguete, 2%.

The company said notable projects such as Mivela Garden Residences propelled the sales turnout last year, as the mid-market residential condominium in Cebu City sold 80% of its available inventory in less than a month.

Other outstanding performers are CLI’s mid-market Garden Series brand in Bacolod and Cagayan De Oro, which comprised 37% of total sales; and the high-end Premier Masters residential brand, which accounted for 30% of total sales.

CLI’s economic housing brand Casa Mira took 29% of last year’s total sales. The rest were from office condominiums and socialized housing.

After completing P18-billion worth of projects last year, the company now wants to focus on developing projects in new locations such as Iloilo, Bohol and Ormoc. CLI currently has a landbank of 1,245,485 square meters.

Mr. Soberano said CLI is also eyeing to buy land in Tacloban, General Santos, Roxas City, Boracay and Palawan as part of the expansion.

“CLI will continue to grow and fortify its presence in VisMin, deliver a diversified range of products aimed towards filling the needs in other major growth centers of the region, and keep our excellent financial performance,” he was quoted as saying.

In 2019, CLI was able to launch new projects in Davao City, Bacolod City, Cagayan de Oro and Mindoro. Its earnings in the first nine months surged 77% to P1.65 billion, backed by a 61% rise in revenues to P5.95 billion.

The company’s shares at the stock exchange saw a four-centavo or 0.90% uptick to end at P4.50 apiece yesterday. — Denise A. Valdez

8990 Holdings forecasts year’s revenues to hit P20 billion

February 4, 2020 | 12:08 am [ ]

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

8990 Holdings, Inc. is expecting to record revenues of about P20 billion for 2020, driven by the partial opening of its Urban Deca Homes Ortigas project by year’s end.

In a topping-off ceremony at the project’s site in Ortigas yesterday, 8990 Holdings Chairman Mariano D. Martinez, Jr. told reporters the company is expecting four of the 22 buildings that comprise the project to be completed within the year.

“This year, they’re going to turn over to us four buildings beginning August until December. Those four buildings will be more or less 3,800 units,” he said, noting the average price per unit is P2.5 million.

Including 8990 Holdings’ other projects, the company’s expected revenue by end-2020 is P20 billion, of which 40% or about P8 billion will be the net income.

Urban Deca Homes Ortigas is 8990 Holdings’ largest project to-date: a 13-hectare development along Ortigas Avenue Extension with 19,000 units across 22 buildings, a mall and a one-hectare open space. Once completed, the whole project is expected to generate close to P40 billion in sales.

Mr. Martinez said around six to eight more buildings are expected to be turned over next year, and the rest over the next three to four years.

8990 Holdings has set its capital expenditures for 2020 at P12 billion, where P8 billion will be allocated for construction, P2 billion for replenishment of land and P2 billion for advanced land development.

This will be supported through the company’s receivables, which stand at about P22 billion, plus an additional P16 billion to be raised from the Urban Deca Homes Ortigas project. In line with previous disclosures, Mr. Martinez said the receivables will be sold and securitized for financing.

Asked about other fundraising plans, Mr. Martinez said the company may issue bonds this year as the bulk of its P9-billion debt issuance in 2015 is set to mature.

“Since we’re approaching our fifth year, there’s an intention to raise again in order to pay off the maturing portion of that bond,” he said. “[W]e don’t really see a need to do a big fund-raise. This pretty much covered already the operational and cash requirements for the…big major projects,” he added, referring to sales from the Urban Deca Homes Ortigas project.

Moving forward, Mr. Martinez said 8990 Holdings may venture into new businesses such as commercial malls to diversify its portfolio. “It’s always been observed that 8990 does not have a strong value chain insofar as rentals are concerned… So that would be of interest to me if somebody wanted to sell their malls or anything like that. That would take up another leg,” he said.

But he noted the company is not actively looking into malls yet, as its focus is still on horizontal developments and building halfway houses. “We don’t want to veer too far away from that because that’s what we all need. We all need to sleep somewhere, and the nearer it is, the more we want,” Mr. Martinez said.

Earnings of 8990 Holdings in the first three quarters of 2019 increased 23% to P4.21 billion, driven by a 21% jump in revenues to P10.51 billion. Its shares at the stock exchange slipped four centavos or 0.27% to P14.70 each on Monday.

Online platform makes it easier to buy, sell, and lease properties

January 28, 2020 | 12:04 am [ ]

By Adrian Paul B. Conoza
Special Features Writer

PROPERTYACCESS Philippines recently launched its own online platform that aims to make buying, selling, and leasing real estate properties easier for Filipinos.

Founded in 2018 by real estate experts Hiroki Kazato and Shiela Baylon, PropertyAccess provides users with real estate multi-listings, intelligent data, and analysis. It also serves to connect real estate developers, agents, institutional/retail buyers and sellers, landlords, and tenants across Southeast Asia. Aside from the online platform, PropertyAccess’ businesses include consultancy, transactions, and events.

Mr. Kazato, chief executive officer of PropertyAccess, said the company was founded with the vision of “elevating the real estate experience through transparency of information and accessibility to a wider market.”

According Mr. Kazato, the “immense growth potential” foreseen in the Philippine market, with the country as one of PropertyAccess’ top market for transactions, pushed the company to build the PropertyAccess Philippines platform.

“With this website, property buyers will be able to access properties [easily]. At the same time, they will be able to look through key information and data that some websites and portals failed to provide,” Mr. Kazato said during the launch event in Makati City.

Ms. Baylon, chief revenue and partnership officer of PropertyAccess, said the main focus of PropertyAccess was to act as a bridge for Japanese investors interested in the Philippine market. Now, she said the company hopes to further tap into the Philippine market with this newly-launched platform.

“The Japanese [market] is using it. However, we also want the Filipinos to [use] it, and we want to make it more friendly too,” she said.

Modeled after innovative websites from leading markets in the region such as Singapore and Australia, the newly designed website has a new user interface that makes the platform easy to understand.

Not only is the website designed with the Filipino market in mind, but it also aims to bring real estate investment closer to a younger demographic.

“One of our goals is to bridge the gap between real estate and the younger generations,” Alyssa Narvasa, the company’s head of product, said while presenting the new website.

She added that with this new website, PropertyAccess wants to show Filipinos that real estate is not a scary venture, but rather a practical and sound investment. “We’re here to serve as a transactional environment that is safe, legitimate, intelligent, and credible,” she said.

The website’s home page has a search bar that conveniently guides users on what to look for based on their preferences. Featured listings are located underneath, while location tags are also provided below for users who prefer to search based on area. Tailored searches can be made through the website’s various search pages.

Overviews of every search result can be accessed without extra steps. By clicking on a listing, a comprehensive profile of the property can be viewed, together with vital information such as the price, size, description, details, location, and even the listing agent.

A key addition to the website is its Affordability Calculator, designed to make searching for properties less intimidating, especially for first-time buyers. It provides the expected monthly expense of a desired property based on the information given by the user.

“It gives the buyer a sense of empowerment, a sense of preparation, which makes them more confident to move forward with his investment,” Ms. Narvasa noted.

The website also caters to sellers, real estate agents, and brokers by helping them find customer leads for their property listings. For P999 a month, they can post an unlimited number of listings without any commission sharing with PropertyAccess Philippines.

The website also has a feature called Leads Filtering. With the help of trained professionals who use a criteria “based on logic and experience,” quality leads are filtered in and sent to agents or brokers.

It also has articles on real estate news, home care tips, and design trends, among others.

PropertyAccess is also holding regular events for the real estate industry, all of which are staged in Japan. For this year, the company will hold the International Property and Investment Conference in May, the third Japan International Property Awards, and the World Investment Fair, both in November.

Arthaland raises P3 billion in green bond offer

January 30, 2020 | 12:01 am [ ]

THE maiden offering of ASEAN green bonds by niche property developer Arthaland Corp. has been oversubscribed to reach P3 billion.

In a stock exchange disclosure yesterday, the listed firm said the P1-billion oversubscription option of its P2-billion green bonds “has been exercised in full,” which means the company was able to raise P3 billion from the first tranche of its total shelf registration of P6-billion ASEAN green bonds.

Arthaland started its offer period for the fixed-rate bonds on Jan. 22, which ended on Jan. 28. The bonds have an interest rate of 6.3517% per annum and are scheduled to mature by 2025.

BDO Capital and Investment Corp. and ING Bank acted as the joint lead underwriters and joint bookrunners, while PNB Capital and Investment Corp. acted as the co-lead manager for the issuance.

The offer of Arthaland marks the Philippines’ first non-bank corporate issuance of ASEAN green bonds registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Green bonds, also called climate bonds, are a type of loan that are committed to be used for environmental projects. The SEC adopted the ASEAN green bond standard for the Philippines, which requires that proceeds from such issuances must be “exclusively applied to finance or refinance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible green projects.”

Arthaland said before that the cash to be generated from its green bond offer will be used to finance its pipeline of green projects. The company has several internationally and locally recognized green buildings in its portfolio, such as the Arthaland Century Pacific Tower and Arya Residences in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The company has a plan to expand its development portfolio by five times until 2024, which will result in an increase in its gross floor area to above 500,000 square meters.

Earnings of Arthaland in the first nine months of 2019 soared to P647.36 million from P75.64 million a year ago, driven by the 151% growth in its revenues to P1.49 billion.

Its shares at the stock exchange inched up one centavo or 1.23% to P0.82 apiece on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez

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